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Subject: Nostalgia and the now come together in the 50th anniverary edition rss

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"In loving memory of Mariel."
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There aren't many reviews for this game, and after just playing it I thought it really deserved a positive one.

Back up

Of all the "classic" games I grew up with in school, this is the one that I remember having the most fun with. It was the first game that brought a sense of theme into a game without mimicing banking.

When I opened my own school in Japan I knew it was a game that I wanted as part of the public collection of games, but getting it just kept getting put off. As much as I loved the game, it seemed crazy to me that it was so expensive when other classics are quite cheap to buy. Still, I ran out of excuses once I got my hands on the others. Enter the 50th anniversary edition at a great price, which the stateside Amazon shipped for a steal.

Changes


photo by Coldwarrior1984

There's board size and the reduction of the number of pieces and all that other reviews have said. But the biggest change I noticed was the addition of the Spotters. Their ability to "call" the identity (and destroy) pieces, both offense and defense is bolstered.

I like the smaller board, the tighter number of units, and how they all interact. Sending your 10 forward with naught to fear but the Spy and enemy 10--and bombs, of course--is no longer the only concern. Aggressive play can take place behind any number of strategies, from charging in with the big numbers, to probing defenses with a wave of 2, or going the moderate road with mid numbers and the Spy...

The art is really something that enhances the game. Not only is it a cool futuristic battle, the unit pictures really make communicating the unit powers very clear: The 2 can zip across the board (it's a bike); the 3 can disarm mines (it's some kind of crane). The art's so good I wish there was more excuses to have it! I never really dug the original art, but I'm not a history buff.

Games are much faster than I remember, a boon in my situation where we play games between classes--and can sometimes get two in. This is great because we can try different starting placements. The strategies I once used still work, and I really appreciate the feeling that I can actually do a little bit more, thanks to the choices made with this edition.

Components


photo by Coldwarrior1984

This version is good looking and sturdy. From the box to the included baggies to the rules and the playing pieces themselves I'm very pleased with how the game sets up and stores.

Wrap it up

This is a solid re-themed classic. It provides all the fun I remember of the orignial in a fast playing, good looking package.

If there's anything that I could have wanted, it would have been the makers really stretching the game: Give it modular boards, for example. But I think all of these classic rethemes at least stick to board games in the classic sense, but it would have been great to see how the pieces interacted with a different board every time. I would have been curious, too, to see how this would have fared had they kept the original number of pieces and such. I respect that they didn't clutter up play, but still!

Whether you played the original or not, this anniversary edition provides just the right amount of mystery, satisfying lite strategy, and quality.
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George Husted
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Great review. I think you really captured it. Not everyone is going to like the Stratego system, but for those that do, this game rocks! I absolutely agree about the spotter units. They are potentially the most powerful piece in the game. I'm so glad that SpinMaster took this in a new direction. Your ideas on a modular board...wow...that's some fantastic outside-the-box thinking. Again, great review!thumbsupmeeple
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Thank you. (^_^)

I'm really only just getting the feel of the 1, but it adds a welcome dynamic. With more threats to pieces--and fewer pieces--set up feels more creative. The fact that the 1 and S pieces are so weak on defence makes them exciting pieces to mount an attack with.

One of the things I hated in the original was having some high number tear a swathe through the ranks. Now the game rewards more careful play, and it's so gratifying when the enemy line melts away on several fronts...
 
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Jason Farris
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Coldwarrior1984 wrote:
Great review. I think you really captured it. Not everyone is going to like the Stratego system, but for those that do, this game rocks! I absolutely agree about the spotter units. They are potentially the most powerful piece in the game. I'm so glad that SpinMaster took this in a new direction. Your ideas on a modular board...wow...that's some fantastic outside-the-box thinking. Again, great review!thumbsupmeeple


strategy legends had modular boards, variable piece powers (even the mines had different effects) and each army had a different feel to it.

It's my favorite version of the game.
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"In loving memory of Mariel."
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Will have to check it out! Thank you!
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Andy Andersen
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This was my favorite game as a kid. My son (26 years old) now says it's his favorite game so I went looking for my copy. I couldn't find it and called my wife to stop by a local store to pick up a copy. She got the 50th anniversary edition. Five minutes after she walked in the door with it, I stumbled across my 1967 edition. The only flaw is one taped corner on the box.

A great game. Thanks for the review.
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Nick Hayes
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I really like the reduced piece count. After playing with 30 pieces for a wile, I went back and played an older version of the game. Forty pieces was just way too much, The game felt bogged down and diluted. I think this new version is a much tighter, cleaner experience.
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